Tuesday, July 31, 2012

We Are Going To China!!!

We just got assigned to group 1893 and essentially will be in China from August 11 - August 25. John will be in our arms on August 13. I am a little overwhelmed especially with the cost of tickets at this late notice ... yikes! This is the information we have been dreaming of though since we first saw John's picture. Our family has a huge gaping hole that only this sweet little boy can fill. Fourteen days and John is ours.

I still need help on how to blog in China see here. If there are any important facts I need to know, please share.

How Do I Blog In China?

I know that I am revealing myself here as anything but an expert. Let's be honest, I am so glad I figured out how to blog in America. I seriously need advice from those of you who have been there and done that. I have a MacBook and use blogger. I know there is something called a VPN that I need, but it seems like they are all for Windows, and I frankly am confused.

Please help me so that at least my kids can see the pictures of what is happening while I am gone. Thanks so much!!!!


I ended up using Express VPN on my Mac laptop. It worked beautifully, and I was able to blog every single day to keep my kiddos updated on everything we were doing.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Today we received our travel approval. For those of you who don't know what that is - it is China's thumbs up to come and travel and get our cutie. Hopefully tomorrow we will get our consulate appointment since there is a chance we will be leaving next week. All these milestones we are crossing feel fantastic. One last step and then we are buying our plane tickets!

Today was also a great day because we finally figured out who is going to help our kids while we are gone. Thanks Eliza and everyone else for being willing to help us out in this enormous way. We will bring you back some fortune cookies ... ha! ha!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

More Treasures

Today I found more treasures. This picture of John and a video of his foster facility being built. I am starting to think that he has been here the entire time. I don't know why this information is such a secret for the new parents, but apparently it is given out on a need to know basis. Oh well, we will be there hopefully within 30 days so it doesn't really matter. Then it will be me choosing what information to release to the rest of the world. That sounds really nice. His life has become even more of a mystery to me, and I can't wait to start figuring some things out.

Here is a link to the video I found for those of you interested - John even makes an appearance. It is a real treasure. I am truly captivated by how loving everyone that is associated with Eagle's Wings seems to be. I am so so so so so so so (did I mention so) grateful!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I LOVE updates!

So about three weeks ago, we sent another package to John - our last package because we should be there pretty soon. My motivation was two fold. First, remind him that he is so loved and that we are on our way, and second, to get another update and picture.

Well today we received a very short update. This is what it said:
7/23/2012 Update
Note from Foster Home:

We did a second small package from his family, some books and trains. 
Please thank them! We are calling him "John" frequently.

Weight: 14.5kg
Height: 95cm

Head: 50.5
Chest 54.5
Foot 14.5

There was no picture, which was a little disappointing, but there was one phrase that caught me off guard  "Note from Foster Home."  I had no idea that he was in foster care. Of course all of my maternal instincts kicked in, and I wrote our agency immediately. They wrote back to say that he was at a Foster facility called Eagles Wings, and that it is amazing. I have no idea how long he has been there.

The really great news though is that Eagle's Wings is on the internet. It looks like an amazing place, and from the little I can gather from the website we are the luckiest parents on the planet. In their video of introduction on their website, they talk about cuddling the children as part of their routine care. Wow! I am so grateful that he is there. And guess what - they had a picture of our sweet boy.

Here is the picture I found.

This was their report.

Zhe Nan is a boy born in 2009. 
He is active, fun, smart and affectionate. 
He loves looking at himself in the mirror and laughing.
 Zhe Nan walks and runs and feeds himself.

This was the best news we received today. My heart is overcome with gratitude for this new addition to our family who is so well cared for. Again, this is another testament that our Father in Heaven knows John and cares for him. He is surrounded by these care giver angels while we cannot be there. Life is good!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Brig Turns 10

I love this boy! Yesterday was his birthday and it was so much fun to celebrate him.  Brig is such a delight and real blessing to our family. He is one of those boys who LOVES their mom, LOVES being a big brother and LOVES super heroes. He loves with his whole heart. I home schooled Brig last year for 3rd grade and it was a wonderful experience for both of us. So far I have home schooled every child once either in 2nd or 3rd grade. It was his turn last year and we both loved it. I love doing this one on one with the kids so that we can have that year together.

This boy can melt my heart faster than you can believe. He is so excited to have John come into our family and has even offered up his bedroom to his new brother. What a great kid!

We celebrated his 10th birthday with a swimming party and an Avenger's theme. It was a great day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Yeah Baby!

We received news that our Article 5 is on its way to Beijing and the CCCWA. This is getting serious! Honestly it just feels like it is time to bring our cutie home. Our family feels so incomplete. Rick and the kids notice it too. As a matter of fact when we are gathering our kids around, we are always looking for who is missing - it's John. Hopefully our time line will be as speedy as the Murphy's. It probably won't be - but here is to hoping!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Still On Track

I have been a little concerned since we were cabled and found out that our I-800 was incorrect. We received two copies of our corrected I-800 on Monday - insert audible sigh of relief. Today I was able to talk to our agency and see how set back this made our timeline. According to our agency - not at all. I am stunned. As a matter of fact they said that we should get our Article 5 on July 18 if everything is on track. What a blessing. All that needless worry for nothing.

Many times during this adoption process I have really wanted to freak out. I know that doesn't say a lot about my character, but it is true. The interesting thing is that I always have this still small voice assuring me that  I don't need to panic - it is in His hands - everything is exactly the way it should be. Most of the time I choose to listen (all be it reluctantly).  Sometimes I just choose worry over peace. (This set back was one of those times).

This process can be so maddening, but I know the lesson I am suppose to be learning is trusting in a loving Father in Heaven. Maybe one of these days, hopefully sooner rather than later, I will trust first and skip the panic.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Little Frustrated

I should have known that when I blogged about this last part being easy, I was setting myself up. So we got notice that we were cabled on June 29. That was fantastic news and it came so quickly. The bad news came later when my agency told me that our I-800A provisional approval had the wrong expiration date. Ugh! The really frustrating part is that I still don't have the corrected approval. I have talked to my officer twice - such a nice person by the way - but I still don't have the approval even though two have been sent to me. Oh well, what can we do but grin and bare it. I have said it before, but this is not in my hands (no matter how badly I wish I could control the whole thing!)

Oh well, I am trying to keep myself busy, and wow did I pick a big project. We have an enormous apricot tree - I kid you not, it is the biggest fruit tree I have ever seen and so tall. It hasn't produced fruit for years, but this year we have so many. With the help of our neighbors we picked as many apricots as we could reach, on ladders, on roofs, and ladders on roofs.

Our neighbors and Lydia and Brig on the roof

This is what I made - Apricot Jam!  It made me so happy. It took two days and help from my cute Lincoln and sister Eliza. This was the result.

These are the ingredients I used

I chopped up the apricots, cooked the ingredients, put them in jars and then the hot bath.

In all I made 6 dozen jars and had enough puree left over to make 4 more batches. I froze those.

A Great 4th of July!

This year we went up to Park City for their parade. I lived up there during high school and remember really loving their parade. Park City has changed so much since I lived there. I could not believe how crowded it was. The small mountain town feeling was gone. But, I am still glad that I took my kids up there so they could experience a tiny bit of my childhood. My dad, my brother and his wife, and my sister's family came with us too.

Cora, Lauren, Lydia, Sophie, Christian and Brigham

Lydia and Sophie

Cousin Christian and Brigham

My dad, me and my brother Christian

The rest of the day was spent swimming and eating at my parent's house. 

Then we watched fireworks at my sister's home with friends and family. It was a great day.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


It is so hot here! And to top it off, our air conditioner broke - it has been for about the last two weeks.  I was so excited to go to church today and walk into an air conditioned building. Guess what? The air conditioner was broken at church too. Yikes! It is much too hot!!!

Thankfully we went up the canyon before church to beat the heat. I love that it takes a total of 1/2 hour to get to the ski resorts around here. We walked around Silver Lake with our cute Colorado cousins. It was exactly what we needed.